Perceptual gating of value-driven attentional capture
43.535, Monday, May 13, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm, Vista Ballroom
Lihui Wang1, Hongbo Yu1, Xiaolin Zhou1,2; 1Center for Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Department of Psychology, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China, 2Key Laboratory of Machine Perception (Ministry of Education), Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
Previous research demonstrated that associating a stimulus with value (e.g., monetary reward) can increase its salience and induce a value-driven attentional capture when it becomes a distractor in visual search (Anderson et al., 2011). Here we investigate to what extent this value-driven attentional capture is affected by the perceptual salience of the stimulus. We manipulated the perceptual salience of the stimulus associated with value and the type of value attached to the stimulus. We showed that a color previously associated with monetary gain or loss impaired subsequent search for a unique shape target (Experiment 1), but a shape that was previously associated with gain or loss did not affect search for a unique color target (Experiment 2), indicating that the associative learning of value and the effect of value-driven attentional capture are modulated by the perceptual salience of a stimulus. The value-based attentional capture reoccurred when the shape distractor was associated with biologically aversive (pain) stimulation (Experiment 3), indicating that when the value is significant enough to an organism it can render a perceptually less salient stimulus capable of capturing attention in visual search. These results suggest that perceptual salience modulates the value-based attentional capture and the extent of value information capturing attention depends on the biological significance of the valued.